Lexus RX300 Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your Lexus RX300

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Lexus RX300 Problems

Low Engine RPM or Stalling on Cold Start

The 1998-2003 Lexus RX300 may start and stall, or start and run at very low engine speeds when the engine is cold. 

The issue is a failed or dirty idle air control valve. This valve is mounted under the throttle body, and modulates airflow to the engine under certain conditions. When the valve becomes dirty, or when the valve fails, proper airflow to the engine is not achieved. This results in start and stall, and low RPM.  

To correct the issues, the idle air control valve will need to be tested, and cleaned or replaced. 

To help decrease the frequency of this issue, change the air filter no less than once per year. 

Rough Idle and Backfiring Engine with Check Engine Light

The Lexus RX300 has a known issue with the valves that if left unchecked, will cause burned valves and engine performance issues. 

The engine ‘breathes’ through valves that are pushed open by the camshaft, and closed by springs. When valves are closed, they seal against a valve seat. In this vehicle, the valve seat is too soft, so after the valve contacts it thousands of times, it becomes crushed. Once it is crushed, the valve can no longer make a proper seal, and the valves erode due to extreme temperature (burnt valve).

Symptoms related to this issue:

To repair the burnt valves, the cylinder head must be removed and rebuilt, which is a costly internal engine repair, however, this issue can be prevented through inspection and adjustment of valve clearances every 40,000 miles.

Excessive Oil Consumption

Drivers of the Lexus RX300 may notice excessive oil consumption between oil changes, even to the extent of the engine oil warning light displayed on the multi-function display.

This issue is known to be caused by infrequent oil changes causing engine sludge, or worn piston rings. 

The engine should be cleaned of oil sludge, and if oil consumption remains excessive, the engine may need new piston rings, or other internal components replaced. 

To avoid this issue, change the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and ensure the proper grade of oil is used. 

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Lexus RX300 Questions

this is common, RECALLED?do we have to pay out of pocket? (1 answer)

Please email me asap, I am leaving very soon, as soon as it's fixed, I'm leaving for medical reasons....

What would cause my car to make a weird grinding sound pulsating noise (2 answers)

Just had bearing replaced ever since my car gets put in drive and I start to accelerate it makes like a weird grinding type noise didn't know if this would be a error the mechanic made or something else only does it when the car just starts to accelerate

How can I restart my lexus rx330 after it is suspected to have suck water (1 answer)

I suspect my lexus rx330 have sucked water after a heavy flood that covered my area, the engine was switched off and refused to start.

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Lexus RX300 Recalls

Recall 99V012000
VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH THE OPTIONAL TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM. DUE TO IMPROPER DESIGN OF THE REAR BRAKE TUBE DISTRIBUTION, IF ONE OF THE DUAL BRAKE LINES FAILS WHEN THE DRIVER APPLIES THE BRAKE, THE VEHICLE WILL FEEL UNSTABLE COMPARED TO VEHICLES WITH PROPER REAR B...
Recall 99V011000
VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. THE HEADLIGHTS AND TAILLIGHTS MAY NOT AUTOMATICALLY ILLUMINATE IN LOW AMBIENT LIGHT WHEN THE HEADLIGHT SWITCH IS PLACED IN THE "AUTO" POSITION.

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Lexus RX300 Reviews

2001 Lexus rx300 bought it used in 2010 with 94k miles, has been back and forth to Tampa from the northern Va. area many times hauling a trailer and packed to the gills, now it has 191k miles and runs great! all wheel drive is surprising in the snow, never had it off road, best used car I've ever owned! We also own a 2008 rx 350, I think the 300 it built better :) it's my daily driver, everyth...
Bought the car new in 2002 now have 175,000 miles So have very good idea about this car. Had to replace 2 shafts due to rusted or damaged antilock sensors. I was told that the sensor is an integral part of the shaft and when it fails you must replace the shaft, this model has 4 shafts also Had to replace the main drive shaft due to loose joints but in general car is very good. Body has almos...
I had 2 Lexus RX300. Bought the first one in 1998. It caught fire in 2000, as I was driving to work (10-mile leisurely drive). Total loss. It had about 15,000 miles. Horrible experience with Lexus as we sorted through that. They eventually gave me a slightly used RX300 demo car which I still have. It has 111,000 miles. Muffler gave up at 70,000; the radio at about 80,000; transmission at 100,00...

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